According to the Chinese calendar, fall begins at the beginning of August (around the 7th). At first glance, that may seem a bit early. If you pay close attention though, you will see slight changes beginning at that time…the nights begin to cool off, trees start to change and the days become noticeably shorter.
In Chinese Medicine, fall corresponds to the metal element which represents order and organization. It is therefore the perfect time to finish summer projects and to organize and prepare for the winter.
The emotions associated with metal are grief and sadness. Thus, it is important to “let go” of any negative emotions and clear your mind for the peacefulness and quietude of winter. Fall also corresponds to the Lungs (and skin) and Large Intestine. These organs are responsible for respiration, digestion and elimination. During this time, one is more susceptible to respiratory problems such as asthma, colds and sinus infections, as well as constipation and skin problems. It is therefore essential to take very good care of yourself...avoid getting chilled even when it “seems” warm outside, stay hydrated, get sufficient rest and choose warm, cooked foods such as soups and steamed vegetables over cold, uncooked foods such as salads.
Here are some nourishing foods to incorporate into your fall cooking: apples, beets, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cinnamon, figs, garlic, ginger, leeks, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, rosemary, sage, thyme, whole grains, wild rice, winter squash and yams.
Enjoy the beauty of the fall and the abundant harvest it offers.